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India whip Singapore in women's Asia Cup hockey

October 29, 2009 20:39 IST

Jasjeet Kaur led the onslaught with three goals as a ruthless India steamrolled Singapore 13-0 to open their women's Asia Cup hockey campaign in style at the Queen Sikrit Sports Centre in Bangkok on Thursday.

Jasjeet struck thrice, in the 39th, 53rd and 59th minutes, while Saba Anjum, Mamta Kharab, Deepika Thakur, Surinder Kaur and Rani Ramphal chipped in with two goals each as India blanked their hapless opponents.

Earlier, top contenders Japan and Korea routed Kazakhstan and Sri Lanka 10-0 and 17-0 respectively.

Malaysia also collected full points with a 3-0 win over hosts Thailand.

Winger Saba Anjum connected Jasjeet Kaur's drag flick to open the scoring in the second minute off India's second penalty-corner and captain Surinder Kaur stretched the lead two minutes later from the next penalty-corner.

Stung by the reverse, Singapore tightened their defence, allowing no leeway to strikers Jasjeet, Saba Anjum and Surinder Kaur, even though they conceded 15 penalty-corners in the first session alone.

The Indians, however, soon brought down the rival citadel, with Rani Ramphal (19th minute) and Mamta (23rd min) sounding the board and Deepika scoring at the stroke of the lemon break to give India a 5-0 cushion at the breather.

The Indian forwards made amends in the second half, attacking with renewed vigour and it started raining goals.

Jasjeet connected a cross from right for India's sixth goal, while lanky Rani Ramphal unleashed a deft flick from close range to make it 7-0 in the 41st minute. In the next minute, Saba came from the wing to connect a pass from the midfield and find the cage.

Singapore then virtually gave in and India pumped in five more goals to complete the rout.

"We were a bit lazy in the first half but the second half went off well. When a team defends in full strength in your area, this happens," India's chief coach M K Kaushik said.

India got a whopping 24 penalty-corners and converted seven.

"Not a bad record, as we did not want to exhaust all the variations we have for the fear of exposure," Kaushik said.

Captain Surinder Kaur also felt the team could have done better.

"I feel we did not play well in the first half, especially the forwards, who were in a hurry. Once we adopted one-touch passing in the second half, we got the rewards," Surinder said.

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